College of the Canyon Students and Kelly Ramnarine showing their pride at the Flagpole near the Honor’s Grove at the Valencia Campus. (Marco Preciado CanyonsNews) / May 17, 2022

With National Pride Month around the corner, it doesn’t stop the students within the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) showing off their colors on Tuesday and Wednesday at its Pride Fair located on the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus in collaboration with QueerSCV and other alliances. 

The events had stands where it offered snacks, games, and resources for all students walking around the Honor’s Grove to help bring everyone together and support the LGBTQ community. 

Katey Coleman, a COC Sociology Professor & Gender Sexuality Facility Lead, said the Pride Fair brings awareness to the LGBTQ community. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of QueerSCV, a local non-profit in Santa Clarita.

 “We have partnered with them for almost 4 years now, and they are the driving force behind connecting our campus to the community,” said Coleman. “Making sure that we have the resources available. All credit goes to them for making sure it’s reciprocated.” 

Students playing “Queer Pong” in one of the stands (Marco Preciado CanyonsNews) May 17, 2022

Kelly Ramnarine, the co-founder of QueerSCV, organized the event this week since students won’t be on campus in June. 

Ramnarine thought it would be an excellent opportunity to show students on campus that everyone in the LGBTQ community is the same as everyone, as there is some non-social acceptance of the movement. 

“I think generally the vibe is unfortunately not in support of the LGBTQ folks,” Ramnarine said. “But there are pockets of acceptance, and those pockets are getting bigger.”

A post-it board for students with multiple sharing positive message / May 17, 2022  (Marco Preciado / CanyonsNews)

The Pride Fair is the first social event that the COC’s GSA put together since 2021 when they hosted their “Pride Cornhole Carnival” at the Wolf Creek Brewery. 

Even though California is considered the most progressive state regarding having hate crime protection against hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation, there is still a need for support. 

“It is just so important to really embrace equity in every place in society. We have to make sure that our society and populations are treated fairly and justly” Coleman added. 

With Ramnarine’s orientation background, she was discriminated against. 

Ramnarine makes it her mission to aid people with similar circumstances as she helps organize social events for the LGBTQ community. 

The Gender Sexuality Alliance setting up the Pride Fair near the Flag post / May 17, 2022 (Marco Preciado / CanyonsNews)

“I think there is more acceptance for sure, and I think we’re on that path. I mean, yes, there are horrible challenges that are setting us back right now regarding things like trans rights and reproductive rights,” Ramnarine added. “The majority our society does support same-sex marriage & LGBTQ rights. And so, I think it might be a ‘two-step forward, one step back’ type of game. We are still taking those steps forward.”

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